I recently decided to apply for a job and I ran into a little problem. I'm writing this so that y'all are aware of a potential problem and will be smarter than me in avoiding it.
Getting hired required two forms of ID: a VALID drivers license and a SS card. I could have used a Passport (expired or unexpired) instead of a drivers license. It was the drivers license that hung me up.
Back in 2010, I needed to renew my TN Drivers License. No problem. I had renewed it online before and I could do it again. I was smart enough to renew online a month before the license expired. Two days before my license expired, I got an e-mail from TN that stated I could not renew online since I did not get a new pic the last time I got my license renewed online. After calling TN to explain I was in NM (renovating my daughters house) and could not make it back, I was told I had two choices. Get a 30 day extension, which wouldn't help me, or not drive. Well since I hadn't driven anywhere in ages, I figured I would simply get a NM drivers license. And here's where it got stupid.
As most anyone who watches the news knows, NM has no problem giving out driver's licenses and ID to illegal immigrants. So I figured it would be pretty easy to get a new license. WRONG. I did not have TWO "proof of residence" items in other words I did not have a banking statement (online statement and I had closed out my account anyway) or utility bills (all utilities are included in our site rental). But no big deal. Like I said I did not drive often and as a conservative estimate 1/2 of the drivers in Socorro didn't have valid licenses anyway.
Our TN mailing address is gone since the mail forwarding company went belly up (actually two of them). I haven't had the $$ to rejoin Escapees and get their mail forwarding (business has been pitiful). Our eventual plan (once I get working and make some $$) is to rejoin Escapees and get the mail forwarding set up and become "Texans" (you can download "How to become a Texan" off the Residence and Domicile page
) because Escapees has worked to get their mail forwarding recognized as a "real" address for banking and official government purposes (check out Escapees "Residence and Domicile" page
). We have been using my "daughter-who-owns-a-house" (where did I go wrong??) in NM as our address. Since we have been out here, all our tags have expired. Due to the mail forwarding companies going out of business, we never got renewal notices and not having them meant we would have to make a personal appearance to renew. The bus had not been tagged or titled in our names yet either.
For my Gov ID card, the DMV (NM is dyslexic it's called MVD) accepted my official FL marriage certificate (one one with the FL seals), My Official FL birth certificate (the multi-coloured one), my Social Security card and our "Town & Country Park Monthly Rental Agreement" (We did not have one from the park in Socorro but I think I could have gotten one from them) and $10. I also had suggested to them they use: my business tax number certificate, business licenses from Roswell, our NM EBT (Food stamps... had to get it to qualify for assistance with the hospital bills) and the form stating we had an appointment with them (David's name & Socorro address), our 2010 Fed Tax return (had Socorro address), 2010 W-2 from a hotel I had worked with my Socorro address, PayPal Master card paper they included with my PayPal card (my name & Socorro address), and a bill from the hospital in Albuquerque with David's name & Socorro address.
In 2013 the "Real ID Act"
kicks in and it will get tougher.
NM Current Proof of Residency Requirements
.. CELLPHONE BILLS ARE NOT ACCEPTED!
After going thru this and realizing I may have to go thru it again for other reasons combined with reading more about the Real ID Act. I have decided that David & I need to get US passports so that we can travel around our own country.
On March 10, 2012, they are having a Passport Day
where you can apply for a passport without making an appointment. First time Passport Fee (Adult) $140 + 25 = $165 Passports are good for 10 years.
My Mom recently lost her drivers license. Only way she could get another one was to use her passport. It was the only "official" document that had her picture on it.
Doing all this while essentially being "homeless" is a pain in the butt. How do the real homeless wade thru the "papers" requirement is beyond me. If you can foresee a time when you may become a fulltimer that requires the ability to work while traveling, I strongly suggest you consider becoming a "Texan" thru Escapees PLUS get a passport. TX does not have income tax (important for us since we still work) and therefore does not require we file an state income tax form. We would still have to pay income taxes on income earned in states have have income tax (like NM) and we would file as "non-resident" (and pay about double the resident rate... so keep that in mind when you fill out new hire paperwork and only claim 1 exemption even if you file taxes as a couple).
We figure that the passport will still allow us to live with minimal bills. It will eliminate the "local" billing required for residency. It's beginning to look like the US is going to end up following the example of the former Soviet Union in regards to needing "papers" to do anything including traveling from one state to the next. I do know that as of January 2013 (when the Real ID Act goes into effect) you will have to have a passport to fly within the US borders. Be convenient to have one in case you are traveling and need to fly back "home" fast due to an illness in the family. I have already e-mailed my fulltiming daughter about this and told her she needs to get a passport sometime this summer.
Please, no flaming on this and no political crap. Also I do agree I was stupid to let my license expire, but I was not going 1500 miles back to TN just to renew my license. We had renewed 4 drivers licenses online as well as our tags. I neglected to take into account how nasty Cleveland County would get after the ACLU sued them over dumping all the RVer's (with my same mail forwarding address) off the voter registration polls. Our address were flagged and we were hassled for everything. I'm posting this because if we ran into this situation, others may also. You seem to need "approved" ID for everything. A passport seems to be accepted.
I could have been working this week. As it is, it will be the first of the month before anything will happen. Luckily I do still have the job, just not working.